Postpartum depression: causes, symptoms and treatment

Having a child is one of the most rewarding experiences a human being can have. however, some mothers have what is called postpartum depression.

Scientific studies show that between 10 and 15% of parents can suffer from this disorder, as evidenced by the College of Nursing in Valencia.

Fortunately, patients with this disease have a good prognosis thanks to the work of psychologists.

In the following lines, we will deepen this phenomenon and delve into its causes, symptoms and treatment.

Types of depression

It’s common to experience a downturn every now and then, as life has its good times and its bad times. In fact, some experiences can affect us so badly that it costs us to get back to normal. Feeling sad about something that has happened is normal, the problem arises when suffering becomes too much of a part of our life and affects our daily life, negatively influencing our well-being. .

In these cases, we are talking about depression, and according to different mental disorders textbooks, depressive disorders can be classified in different ways.

  • Major Depression: This is the most serious type of depression. There are two classes: single episode and recurring.
  • Dysthymia: known as mild depression.
  • manic depression: Appears in bipolar disorder.
  • Seasonal Depressive Disorder: Occurs at some point in the year. For example, in winter.
  • postpartum depression: Some mothers, especially first mothers, may suffer from this disorder.

If you would like to learn more about the different types of depression, you can read our article: “Are There Different Types of Depression?”

What is postpartum depression?

Having a child with the person we love is one of the great gifts in life. But sometimes this great experience can lead to postpartum depression. The first few weeks after childbirth can be a vulnerable stage for the mother, who can experience a variety of emotions, not all of them positive.

Sometimes this feeling can appear without any explanation. Anxiety, sadness, insomnia, fatigue, irritability, excessive fatigue, nervousness, pessimism, May affect the first weeks or months of motherhood.


One of the most prominent features of this type of depression is that it occurs after childbirth and can last for up to a year after the birth of the child. But what symptoms do people with postpartum depression experience?

  • irritability: Irritability can develop in mothers with postpartum depression, who may feel agitated with their family, their partner and even their new child.
  • Sadness: the most common symptom. The person experiences a negative mood, an urge to cry, and may experience low self-esteem.
  • Insomnia: Problems sleeping and difficulty falling asleep are common.
  • Anxiety: People with postpartum depression experience high levels of anxiety.
  • Lack of sexual appetite: A demotivation by sex can appear following postpartum depression.
  • Loss of appetite: As with other types of depression, people with this disorder tend to have less appetite, especially in the early stages. However, some people eat sweets and excess fat to relieve psychological distress.
  • tired: Postpartum depression causes a person to feel tired, exhausted and tired, both mentally and physically.

the causes

Postpartum depression can occur for different reasons. They are as follows:

  • Difficulty adapting to changes. For example, when the mother does not have time for herself.
  • Changes in social and / or professional relationships.
  • Concerns about her ability to be a good mother
  • Lack of sound
  • Irrational expectations of being a mother, especially in the first few months.


Postpartum depression can occur especially in early mothers, and one in ten parents suffers from it. Fortunately, psychological treatment works very well, so the patient usually has a good prognosis.

Many patients turn to the GP for help, but it is best to go to a psychological center like those on our “Top 10 Psychology and Psychotherapy Clinics” list. For people who do not want or cannot go to a face-to-face clinic, they can benefit from the help of a psychologist such as those mentioned in our ranking: “The 6 best online therapy clinics”.

The importance of psychotherapy

The ideal is to carry out psychotherapy sessions with an expert in perinatal psychology, Which is a branch of psychology oriented towards the period between conception, pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum and parenthood.

In general, psychologists often use cognitive behavioral techniques that research shows have a high success rate.

    New therapeutic models for the treatment of this pathology

    However, in recent years new types of psychotherapy have started to be used and the results have also been positive.

    Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or acceptance and engagement therapy are among the most widely used and both belong to third generation therapies, also known as contextual therapies.

    If you want to know more about these types of therapies, you can read our articles:

    • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy: what is it?
    • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT): Principles and Characteristics

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